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The debate over Intelligent Design seemingly represents an extension of the fundamental conflict between creationists and evolutionists. ID proponents, drawing on texts such as Darwin's Black Box and Of Pandas and People, urge schools to "teach the controversy" in biology class alongside evolution. The scientific mainstream has reacted with fury, branding Intelligent Design as pseudoscience and its advocates as religious fanatics.
But stridency misses the point, argues Nathaniel Comfort. In The Panda's Black Box, Comfort joins five other leading public intellectuals – including Daniel Kevles and Pulitzer Prize-winner Edward Larson – to explain the roots of the controversy and explore the intellectual, social, and cultural factors that continue to shape it.
One of the few books on the ID issue that moves beyond mere name-calling and finger-pointing, The Panda's Black Box challenges assumptions on each side of the debate and engages both the appeal and dangers of Intelligent Design. This lively collection will appeal to anyone seeking a deeper understanding of what's really at stake in the debate over evolution.
Nathaniel C. Comfort is an associate professor in the Department of the History of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions.
"The Panda's Black Box is an accessible reader that quickly and deftly surveys the current evolution-ID debates from a range of philosophical and historical angles."
– Glenn Sanford Reports of the National Center for Science Education (01/01/2010)